I Was Injured in an Accident, But I Wasn’t Wearing My Seatbelt: What Happens Now?
Driving without a seatbelt is dangerous and illegal in Florida. Seat belts in Florida are required. But nobody’s perfect, and sometimes we forget to do the right thing. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you were not wearing your seatbelt, you may think that you’re unable to file a claim for your injuries. However, in Florida, all hope is not lost if you failed to wear your seatbelt.
Seat Belt Defense
If you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of your accident, you still have the right to pursue a settlement from an at-fault driver. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to prove that your injuries were more severe than they could have been because you were not wearing your seatbelt. However, even if an insurance company succeeds with this seat belt defense, it should not completely prevent you from recovering compensation. This defense may only reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Florida is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if you are found to be no more than 50% at fault for the accident, your recovery is reduced by the same proportion as your percentage of fault. As an example, if you are found to be 20% at fault in an accident, you may still recover 80% of your damages in a lawsuit. If, however, your percentage of fault is found to be more than 50%, you are barred from any recovery under the law.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident and you were not wearing a seatbelt, your claim may be complicated. That’s why it may be important to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side. The lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experienced helping Floridians injured in car accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 today to set up your free consultation.